It is a near flawless list of sixty-six Guyanese honoured on the Jubilee of the Republic. As the lists of National Awards have gone over the years, this one stands out in the sterling quality of most of the awardees.
It is a job well done, and we extend appreciation for the work, the thinking and weighing brought to this serious consideration, and the results shared publicly.
For conspicuous and continuous dedication to duty of a very outstanding character, there were the fifteen recipients of the prestigious Cacique Crown of Honour, which is the Guyanese equivalent of a knighthood of the highest order.
It is noteworthy that six of the fifteen are veteran men of medicine, and of which two founded the venerable Woodlands Hospital, which did open its door to tens of thousands of citizens in the last fifty-plus years.
In fact, the institution grew up alongside the nation’s assumption of republican status. There was another two from the Guyana Police Force, and another pair from the old Central High School that once towered over passersby on Smyth Street. We thought that we detected at least two re-migrants among this stalwart cohort of fifteen.
For certainty, there are few Guyanese, who would find fault with the enduring and quality servanthood of those specifically identified, without being actually named here.
From the twenty-one recognized and awarded the Golden Arrow of Achievement, there were three men and one woman of God, one of the former also has a history with the same Central High mentioned above. And in the mix, there was a seasoned trade unionist, who is still deeply immersed in the industrial relations frays, and a former First Lady, which is one very smart move.
It has to be pointed out at this stage, that this list definitely incorporated some of the grander and glowing elements of Guyanese life. There is the deserving and the meritorious, but it must also be understood and appreciated that the occasion of national awards also present the opportunity for some politics to come into play, through recognizing one’s own people and their decades of loyal work behind the scenes.
Some of their handiwork may not have necessarily been for the greater good of the nation taken as a whole, but for that of the narrower interests and strategies of the party. It is just the way these things can be in some instances, as was recently reinforced in some of the decisions finalized by the sitting president of the United States.
Proceeding down the line to the Medal of Service, there were twenty-three awardees named and, in which Guyanese women dominated the numbers, with a majority presence. On this one, there should be no argument of what constitutes simple numerical ascendancy.
Hats off to our womenfolk for their striving and giving to their country, even as they struggle to balance the baskets of family and career, and public service on their heads. Way to go girls! And keep those heads unbowed and fixed straight ahead.
A known political activist, from whom was extracted the harshest of prices, was given a fitting place under the Guyanese firmament, while a legal practitioner or two rounded out the group.
Rounding the 2020 register of sixty and six, there were six presences who were named for the Military Medal of Service, the Disciplined Services Star, and the Disciplined Services Medal. It is a well thought-out consideration by those who make these decisions and should be a well-received gesture by those who watch out for us and protect us from the dangers that lurk internally and externally.
The Guyana Defence Force, the Guyana Police Force, and the Guyana Fire Service were all equally recognized and represented for their contributions
It is our view at this paper that, to the largest extent ever witnessed, this year’s list resonates with Guyanese stalwarts, who have exemplified what it means to give, to serve, and to make proud. It is of those who made sacrifices, who resisted the tugs, and who convey what could be genuinely done when clean visions reign paramount.
The decision-makers got it right this time.
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